Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA
It has taken more than six hours to clean over 10 tonnes of litter off a beach in north Dublin, Fingal County Council has said, after throngs of people flocked to the coast on Monday on what was the hottest day in over 100 years.
Criticism has been levelled at those who left empty beer bottles, cans and plastic strewn around Burrow Beach in Sutton on Tuesday morning, after images were shared online.
In a statement to the PA news agency, the council said its crews had been working since 5.30am on Tuesday morning at all of its beaches.
It said it had taken over six hours to clean Burrow Beach, and that additional staff and equipment were deployed to beaches after “a substantial increase” in use of beaches over the last number of days.
Extra toilets and large bins have also been provided at beaches, it said.
“It’s an ongoing battle to try to keep the beaches clean at this time of year,” Fingal’s mayor, Howard Mahony, told PA.
“It’s a big chunk of our budget, we take part of anti-littering campaign every year. Does it make a difference? I’d like to think it does.”
Mr O’Mahony said bins are provided and people are encouraged to take their litter home with them.
“We just wish they would,” he added. “We are pleading with people to take their litter home.”
Our crew finishing clean up at Burrow Beach earlier.
Additional staff resources have been deployed at all beaches to remove discarded litter due to the substantial increase in public use of beaches over the last number of days. pic.twitter.com/6qe5qYhPhT
— Fingal County Council (@Fingalcoco) July 19, 2022
The council said: “It is important to remind all beach users to play their part by bringing their rubbish home or using the bins provided.
“Vans and tractors and trailers have been hauling the bags away once filled by the staff. In excess of 10 tonnes of litter was removed from Burrow Beach alone.
“Similar resources and vehicles have also been deployed at the other beaches.
“Our staff have also reported that burnt out bins have occurred due to hot BBQs being placed in bins, despite the warning signs we have in place not to do this. We would remind the public not to dispose of hot BBQs into the bins.
“As well as being unsightly and impacting other beach users, litter left on beaches poses a risk to the environment and wildlife and can have a negative impact on water quality.
“In order to avoid litter entering the sea, the planned cleaning operation targets the area of the beaches where the tide will impact first.”